Learning where children create meaningful products, Nick said, is a more powerful way of learning, because they need to negotiate the problems and challenges as they develop their skills to make. This echoes the work of Seymour Papert who argued that the best kinds of learning occur when children take charge. Learning, Papert argued, is deeper and more meaningful when children can make things related directly to their learning. Clearly, though, making on its own is not enough. It has to be relevant, authentically connected to the content, and it needs to be timely.
When I was around 9, my parents had a house built. My brothers (who were 1.5 years younger) and I took the scrap lumber and made our own furniture. We expanded out rudimentary wood working skills to boats, and what we learned was that nailing shingles onto a small wooden boat does not make it waterproof. Or let the boat function as a boat. It became more like an anchor.